The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has said its major corporate focus in the coming months, will be systematic involvement of many Nigerian youths in exporting local products to African countries and the world at large.
This was revealed to journalists at the weekend in Abuja, by the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo Jr.
Mr Awolowo noted that the Council’s determination to involve many Nigerian youths in the export sector, is not only on account of its prospect as foreign exchange earner, but also because of its high potential in reducing unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria.
He said the move, which, indeed, started in his first tenure, was to build on the Council’s past activities in this direction, and make the export sector more vibrant and competitive giving the budding energy of the Nigerian youths.
This, he explained, is exemplified by their giant strides in the global music arena in the past two decades, saying: “the value chains in getting the youths to embrace export of Nigerian product, particularly agriculture and creating the enabling environment for increased and sustainable production will generate massive employment for the nation’s teeming youth population.”
Mr Awolowo disclosed that he is looking at partnering with the leadership of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) for training of corp members in specific areas of export trade, adding that premium attention would be given the fashion industry and agriculture, particularly fishery and cotton production as well as leather works.
Responding to a question, he agreed that there was a direct correlation between youth unemployment and issues of insecurity like armed banditry, kidnapping, and other criminality currently rife in the country, maintaining that dealing with these issues cannot be left to the government and security agents alone.
Awolowo noted that if more youths were gainfully involved in the export business in Nigeria, there would be drastic reduction in crimes and the notorious foreign journey through the Sahara desert to Europe and other parts of the world to seek greener pastures.